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KINGSTON, Jamaica - It's hard to imagine that Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the darling of the entire Caribbean, has never stepped foot on the sunny islands of The Bahamas.
This May, she intends to change that by taking part in the inaugural International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) World Relay Championships, and the compact World and Olympic Champion is looking forward to the trip.
Winning four of the past five sprint global titles outdoors in the 100 meters (m), and by adding a 60m indoor title this year, the Jamaican national record holder is unquestionably the number one female sprinter in the world right now. Inclusive of relays, she has eight global gold medals since her OIympic debut in Beijing, China.
Her coach Stephen Francis calls her the greatest female sprinter over 100m in the history of athletics. With the hardware she has racked up in just a short period of time, it would be difficult to dispute that. In short, no other woman has done what she did, particularly in the 100m over the past six years. Still, the 27-year-old petite 'pocket rocket', as she is called by her many fans, remains as humble as ever, while still focussing on getting better.
"I'm driven from the inside and from certain circumstances what happened in my life. I don't pay attention to where I fall in history. I just want to continue to get better, and leave the sport better than I found it," said Fraser-Pryce. "I'm reserved. I try to stay away from being looked at as number one - just try to remain humble and grounded. Even after I won the three gold medals in Moscow (2013 World Championships), when I got back to my room, I was like, 'how am I possibly going to top this'. My husband says that I never enjoy anything, but enjoyment will come in time. I just want to continue to get better, and ensure that other young athletes could see that you need to work hard and you need to stay grounded and focussed to get to the top. The sky is the limit."
Fraser-Pryce leads by example. After pulling up to her morning workout last Thursday in her Mercedes jeep, she turned on her Bob Marley music through her head phones, and then engaged in an intense training session.
Francis, the head coach of the Maximizing Velocity and Power (MVP) Track Club, has the ultimate confidence in her.
"Stephen is a wonderful man. He looks rough, but inside he is soft-hearted," said Fraser-Pryce. "I admire him for the fact that he believes in me so much, and I believe in him as well. It's a two-way thing. For you to reap the rewards, you have to pay attention to the coach. I've always listened to him. He has not guided me wrong.
"I just want to continue to pave the way for the young men and women in our society. There is many more to come from Shelly-Ann. I still want to run 21 seconds, and I still want to go under 10.7, so I am still set on working hard, being grounded, and just trusting God to give me the strength and the health to do the things that I need to do."
Fraser-Pryce has personal best times of 10.70 seconds and 22.09 seconds in the 100 and 200m respectively. The 100m time is a national record for Jamaica. The world record in the century, her best event, is a blistering 10.49 seconds, set by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner 26 years ago.
"If I told you I didn't think about 10.49, I would be lying, but I'm one of those persons who believe that in order for me to think about a 10.49, I would have to get to a 10.6, and I would have to get to a 10.5," she said. "As it stands now, I'm not even at 10.6 yet. Until I get there, I try not to focus on the 10.49.
"I definitely believe in my heart that I'm a 10.6 sprinter, but nothing happens before its time. I just have to continue to work."
Fraser-Pryce said that she's very competitive when pitted against her rivals such as American Carmelita Jeter, but she's friendly as well.
"When we are competing against each other, we would walk past each other and don't say anything, but when we would have finished, we would stop and have a conversation. I would tell her that I admire her and she would say that she admires me, and stuff like that," said Fraser-Pryce. "It's a healthy rivalry. I like running against the U.S. They have been dominant for so many years, but we (Jamaica) are here now, and we have much more success to come."
Fraser-Pryce said that when she first started winning races, she discovered what her potential was, and how much better she could be if she continued to work hard.
"I knew what was expected of me," said Fraser-Pryce. "It's very hard to stay at the top, but you just have to keep working.
"I remember first walking through the tunnel at 'Champs' (Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association Boys and Girls Athletics Championships), and being nervous. This shows how far I have come in the sport. I understand and analyze someone's start, technique, and the amount of power they are getting from the blocks.
"At my first 'Champs' I was very excited. I made final and finished seventh. The adrenaline was flowing, but after the race I was excited and proud. The Olympics has shown you that you need to be calm and relaxed. 'Champs' has paved the way for a lot of us, and for me, it taught me how to handle certain situations."
Coincidentally, 'Champs' wrapped up on Saturday at the national stadium here in Jamaica, two days after the interview. Fraser-Pryce, who represented Wolmer's Girls at 'Champs' during her high school career, even provided a bit of commentary during the five-day meet. Whereas full-time commentating as an analyst is quite possible once her athletic career would have concluded, Fraser-Pryce said that she highly doubts that she would go into coaching, because she sees the stress that Coach Francis go through on a daily basis, and doesn't know if she can go through the same thing. For now, she's just enjoying her time commentating at 'Champs'.
"Champs is just awesome. I really love it and can't help but to make noise. I'm one of those fans who get my nails done in school colors. I'm big on style, and I focus on what I like."
Fraser-Pryce's animated style has translated right over into her senior career. She is always seen on the tour, or at big meets, with an assortment of hair styles which separates her from the rest. As a matter of fact, it was at her hair salon, Chic Hair Ja in Kingston, where she gave the interview to reporters last Thursday.
"It's not just that I love hair, I have a passion to create jobs," she said, vowing to bring in a barber in short order as well. "A lot of young men and ladies in Jamaica have degrees and are sitting at home because there are no jobs. If I can create a business so that other persons can get employment, then that's healthy for me and for Jamaicans."
Despite accomplishing it all outdoors over the past six years outdoors, this year could have a special meaning in Fraser-Pryce's career, in that she has already won the world indoor title in the 60m in her first year running indoors, she could run in the Commonwealth Games for the first time, and she is expected to be competing in the inaugural world relays in what would be her first trip to The Bahamas.
She spoke about how excited she is to be coming to The Bahamas.
"I have no idea of what The Bahamas looks like, but I can't wait to experience the culture and enjoy the championships there," she said. "I like the beach, not so much to go in the water because I can't swim, but just to sit on the beach and drink a martini and chill.
"I just hope that Jamaica fields more than one team because we have the depth. I'm not a huge fan of relays because there is always some controversy as to who will run what leg but this particular event should be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it, just going there and getting it done in The Bahamas. Relays are always exciting, and being a part of this first championship is very huge. I would love to be there to see what unfolds."
The world relays is set for May 24-25, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
At home in Jamaica, Fraser-Pryce's typical day is inclusive of her early training session at 6:30 every morning, taking her five-year-old niece to school at times, dropping by the hair salon, going to the gym around midday, getting a massage if needed, and then back for a second workout in the evenings. At times, she would have photo sessions, shoot commercials, and watch a movie if time permits. Her favorite TV shows are the Jamie Foxx and Steve Harvey shows.
As for her Pocket Rocket Foundation, it is geared toward assisting student-athletes in getting scholarships for secondary and tertiary level education.
"We're just trying to alleviate some of the stress and the problems that they face," said Fraser-Pryce. "When I started high school, I was blessed to have a woman assist me financially. She saw something in me that I didn't even see, and started to fund my education, my books, my lunch... everything.
"At that point, I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for Shelly-Ann, but she showed me compassion and love in so many ways and that in a way made me obligated to do the same thing to other athletes who are coming from impoverished situations. They are here, and a lot of their parents can't afford to send them to school so that they could become better individuals."
Fraser-Pryce's foundation gave out seven scholarships to deserving student-athletes last year.
"It has been really remarkable to see the progress that they have made, especially in the school area," said Fraser-Pryce. "We don't just hand out the checks, but be there for them emotionally as well. The foundation has given me a platform to cause a change for young Jamaicans. I just hope to get more sponsors to come on board so that we could give out more scholarships. These young kids are talented and bright.... they are just unable to pay their way through school."
On two of her tattoos, one on each wrist - one has the word 'hope' on it, and the other has the word 'faith' on it.
"I'm big on faith and hope. Everything that I hope for in life, I have faith that God will provide it for me," said Fraser-Pryce. "I still have a lot of work to do to get where I want to go. I understand what hard work does. I just have to remain dedicated and put in the work."
Apart from track and field, Fraser-Pryce said that she has grown to like football and cricket, but has an appreciation for all sports.
The Bahamas has seen no end of ideas to protect Bahamian farmers yet. The consultants, bureaucrats and politicians continue to suggest that if they just get their hands on a few more tax dollars they can make it work. In simple terms, subsidies are a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Witness the new Minister for Agriculture Alfred Gray (PLP) and his recent suggestion that his first priority is food security. Presumably the interviewer did not think it advisable to ask if there was a threat to The Bahamas' food supplies to prompt his concern.
But the reality is he's no different than those that have gone before.
Frederic Bastiat's famous (tongue in cheek) essay, "A PETITION From the Manufacturers of Candles, Tapers, Lanterns, Sticks, Street Lamps, Snuffers, and Extinguishers, and from Producers of Tallow, Oil, Resin, Alcohol, and Generally of Everything Connected with Lighting", to the French Parliament in 1845, suggested they pass a law requiring blocking out the sunlight by forcing everyone to close all shutters etc., so as to protect the manufacturers of candles and more.
Silly of course, but is the "protection" of Bahamian farmers from competition through subsidies any less so?
New Zealand freed itself from the shackles of outdated public policies like these in the 1980s and had a miraculous turnaround. So what made New Zealand change its approach?
As Maurice McTigue, former member of the New Zealand Parliament and now vice president and distinguished visiting scholar at the Mercatus Center, pointed out:
"1. New Zealand's per capita income had sunk to 27th in the world, alongside Portugal and Turkey.
2. By 1984 unemployment was at 11.6 percent.
3. They had 23 successive years of deficits (sometimes ranging as high as 40 percent of GDP).
4. Debt had grown to 65 percent of GDP, and its credit ratings were continually being downgraded.
5. Government spending was a full 44 percent of GDP, and;
Government controls and micromanagement were pervasive at every level of the economy."
Reads like The Bahamas' current economic course doesn't it?
McTigue goes on to relate some specific changes to sheep farming and the results they had: "By 1984, New Zealand sheep farming was receiving about 44 percent of its income from the government in the form of subsidies. Its major product was lamb, and lamb in the international marketplace was selling for about $12.50 per carcass, while the government was providing another $12.50 per carcass.
"Well, we took away all of the sheep farming subsidies within one year. Of course, the sheep farmers were unhappy - but once they accepted the fact that the subsidies weren't coming back, they put together a team of people charged with figuring out how sheep farmers could get $30 per lamb carcass.
"The team's report said that this would be difficult, but not impossible: It required producing an entirely different product, processing it in a different way, and selling it into entirely different markets. And within two years, by 1989, they had converted their $12.50 product into something that was worth $30. By 1991, it was worth $42; by 1994 it was worth $74; and by 1999 it was worth $115. In other words, they went out into the marketplace and found people who would pay higher prices for their product. You can now go into the best restaurants in the U.S. and buy New Zealand lamb, and we'll be selling it to you at somewhere between $35 and $60 per pound."
McTigue added: "Interestingly, as we took all government support away from industry, the prediction was that there would be a massive exodus of people. But that didn't happen. For instance, in the end all that we lost was three-quarters of one percent of the farming enterprises. And these were people who shouldn't have been farming in the first place.
"In addition, some predicted a major move towards corporate as opposed to family farming. But we've seen exactly the reverse. Corporate farming moved out, and family farming expanded, probably because families are prepared to work for less than corporations are. In the end, it was the best thing that possibly could have happened. What this showed us is that if you give people no choice but to be creative and innovative, they will find solutions."
Shouldn't The Bahamas follow New Zealand's lead instead of considering more subsidies?
A brief look around New Providence proves Bahamians can succeed at farming without subsidies. Visit the farmers market at Doongalik Studios on Village Road most weekends, or once a month at the Bahamas National Trust. Good things are happening without costing the taxpayer a dime. The ingenuity of modern Bahamians is helping them create a market for their goods.
Instead of grandiose plans of food security that government promotes at the expense of everyone, for the direct benefit of a few, the private sector is developing this on its own.
Sure, food stores might be able to assist with a specialty area for locally grown produce, poultry or meat, but it's nothing more than political rhetoric to think The Bahamas can be self-sufficient in food at competitive prices. The capacity is simply not there.
While on this subject, duty concessions, favoring one industry over another should also be discontinued.
If there are farmers producing quality products all that's needed is a middle man or two to get the products to market. This way, no taxpayer money is needed to pay for packing houses where product rots and yet the farmers still get paid.
The Bahamas has a great opportunity to be more original with public policy as the national debt increases and further downgrade pressure mounts from foreign ratings agencies. The luxury of tax dollar waste, deficits and debt for political expediency is becoming an ever more dangerous policy.
- The Nassau Institute
World Forestry Day originated at the 23rd General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971, as a means of celebrating and promoting the significant benefits of forests. Later that year, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) lent support to the idea, believing the event would further contribute to building public awareness on the importance of forests. Subsequently, it was agreed that World Forestry Day should be observed annually and numerous countries adopted the practice. March 21, the autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, was chosen as the day to be celebrated. An equinox is when night and day are of approximately equal length.
We need to promote and protect forests in The Bahamas. In the 1700s almost all of our large sized, valuable hardwood species were exported. Up to the early 1970s, the pine forests were harvested for pulpwood. Today, our forests are rebounding and our forestry itself is facing a revival. We possess substantial natural forest resources, comprising pine forests, coppice hardwoods and mangrove forests, with approximately 80% of forest resources on state lands (Crown land) and the remaining 20% on private lands. Pine forest is considered the most productive of the three vegetation types, and is a protected species. Coppice (hardwood) forests are found in the central and southern Bahamas, which the mangrove ecosystems dominate on the leeward shores of most islands. With the enactment of the Forestry Act of 2010, the drafting of stringent Regulations and the creation of the Forestry Unit, forests in The Bahamas can grow exponentially.
The Forestry Unit is located in the Ministry of Environment and Housing. Its mandate is to develop the forest resources of the Bahamas to their maximum potential by applying sound, scientific, and sustained yield forest management principles and concepts. A National Forest Plan and Forest Management Plans for National Forests will be prepared with guidelines for managing Bahamian forests. We hope to develop small scale forest based industries to reduce wood imports. Forests provide opportunities for biodiversity conservation, ecotourism, soil and water conservation, microclimate regulation and climate change, agro-forestry development and environmental enhancement.
In February 2012, the FAO approved funding for a two-year Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) forestry project, titled "Forest Management Pilot and Training in Abaco". The TCP is managed by the Forestry Unit. A workshop was held on New Providence in January followed by one on Abaco. The Abaco workshop trained Bahamians in basic forest management. Fifteen participants from the Bahamas National Trust (8), Department of Environmental Health Services (2), The Bahamas Environment Science and Technology Commission (2), Friends of the Environment (1) and 2 private citizens, benefitted from the training.
The project was highlighted on several occasions on TV on the Bahamas At Sunrise show. Several newspapers also published articles about the forestry project. A town meeting held in Marsh Harbour during the training by the Forestry Unit, highlighted the workshop, forestry in The Bahamas, and the economic potential for this industry. In January 2013, the director of the Forestry Unit discussed the economic potential of forestry for small and medium sized businesses at the Grand Bahama Business Outlook seminar. More training is also slated to produce a highly skilled and competent cadre of foresters in the country. Our public awareness campaign on forestry will continue with additional town meetings, television and radio appearances. The support and participation of Bahamians is appreciated and encouraged, particularly at the town meetings.
The Forestry Unit is also engaged in a Global Environment Facility full-sized project related to the land degradation focal area strategy entitled: Pine Islands-Forest/Mangrove Innovation and Integration (Grand Bahama, New Providence, Abaco and Andros). The key deliverables under the project are:
1) Enhanced enabling environment in support of sustainable land management (SLM) and sustainable forest management (SFM) with integration of biodiversity into land use planning;
2 ) Increased targeted public awareness of the importance and benefits of sustainably managing forest and mangrove biodiversity, ecosystems services and sustainable land management;
3) Improved management effectiveness of existing and new forest reserves;
4) Strengthened livelihoods of people dependent on the use of forest resources - increased use of sustainable land, agro-forestry and forestry management practices among coastal communities.
Forests are essential for life on Earth and are affectionately known as the lungs of the Earth, providing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide. On this World Forestry Day, the Forestry Unit is urging Bahamians to become serial planters and plant a tree today, to save our environment!
"The John Beadle Project", new work by John Beadle, opens Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email email@example.com or call 328-5800/1.
"Master Artists of The Bahamas" opens Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Featured Artists are John Beadle, Jackson Burnside, Stan Burnside, John Cox, Amos Ferguson, Kendal Hanna, Brent Malone, Eddie Minnis, Antonius Roberts, Dave Smith and Max Taylor. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 328-5800/1.
"A New Direction: Mother & Child III", new work by Jessica and Erin Colebrook, opens Saturday, May 4 at 10 a.m. at Hillside House.
"Flower of Dreams", a collection of floral paintings by Lisa Quinn of Bermuda, continues at the Antonius Roberts Studio and Gallery at Hillside House. For more information, visit http://www.antoniusroberts.com/, email email@example.com or call 322-7678.
"Responsible Faith" continues at The Ladder Gallery, New Providence Community Centre, Blake Road. Artists will paint on 55-gallon metal drums, which will be exhibited and then donated to community parks. The drum covers will be used to create wall art for a permanent collection at The Ladder Gallery. Some will also be sold to benefit ACE Diabetes.
"Tropical Alchemy", original art works by Tyler Johnston, continues at Popopstudios ICVA in Chippingham. This exhibition focuses on three inter-related bodies of work: maps of inheritance, power objects and transmutational icons. Rich in texture and color, Johnston has painted and assembled simple objects that he has found, allowing them to be transformed into something simultaneously complex and simple. There will also be a special performance by Bahama Woodstarr at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.popopstudios.com.
"26.6 N-78.7 W", an exhibition by Del Foxton, Susan Moir Mackey and Boryana Korcheva, continues at 4 Martel Place, Bell Channel in Freeport, Grand Bahama. For more information, contact Susan Moir Mackey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (242) 353-4333 or 602-2014.
"Bubbles", new work by Antonius Roberts, continues at The Central Bank Art Gallery. The gallery is open Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This work will be on display until Friday, April 26.
All-star Amateur Artist (AAA) Artwork: "NE6: Kingdom Come" Edition continues at the The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Amateur artists were asked to create works that relate to the distinct sections, Identity, Spirituality & Balance, Justice, Transformation and Survival.
"Kaleidoscope III", an exhibition by the Bahamas Union of Teachers and the Bahamas Association of Art Educators, is featured at the Treasury Building on East Street. The exhibit will feature works by art instructors from both private and public schools throughout The Bahamas.
"SINGLESEX", an all-female portrait show depicting only female subjects, continues at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. NAGB Curator John Cox says it is meant to stand in dialogue with the "Master Artists of The Bahamas" exhibition (later this year), which has no female representation. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email email@example.com or call 328-5800/1.
"Peace & Love: Writings on the Wall", an exhibition of recent work by Stan Burnside continues at the Stan Burnside Gallery, Tower Heights, Eastern Road. They are available to view by appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Permanent Exhibition of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, displaying pieces under the theme "The Bahamian Landscape", continues this week at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Gallery hours: Tue. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sun. noon - 4 p.m. Admission $5 adults; $3 students/seniors; children under 12 are free. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 328-5800/1.
New online workshops from the Gaulin Project will begin in May. "A Light Through My Window: Writing the Spiritual Memoir" and "When My Body Speaks" will run from May 6 to June 30. Registration for each workshops is $450. For more information, visit http://helenklonaris.com/the-gaulin-project-upcoming-workshops/ or email Helen Klonaris at email@example.com.
Lectures and Readings
Netica Symonette launches her book, "A Girl Called Nettie: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love" on Friday, April 26 at 6 p.m. at Casuarinas of Cable Beach on West Bay Street. The book is an intimate account of Symonette's personal life over the past seven decades, breaking barriers and blazing trails. RSVP at 327-7921.
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas will screen "Jackson Burnside III: Native Son", a documentary film by Island Films on Saturday, April 27 at 6 p.m. The film is free and open to the public. Director Karen Arthur will be in attendance for a question and answer period.
Bahamas FilmInvest International will host the 5th Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase in June at Galleria Cinemas. This year's showcase will feature 29 feature films, documentaries, animations and children's films, with a special tribute being paid to the 40th anniversary of Bahamian independence.
Islandz, having acquired Downtown Art Tours, offers its Islandz Gallery Hop tours, examining art spaces downtown on Saturdays. Tickets are $20 per person for the two-hour tour. For more information or to book tickets, call 601-7592 or visit Islandz online at www.islandzmarket.com.
Tru Bahamian food tours offers a "Bites of Nassau" food tasting and cultural walking tour to connect people with authentic local food items, stories and traditions behind the foods and the Bahamians that prepare and preserve them, through a hands-on, interactive, educational tour and culinary adventure. Tickets are $69 per person, $49 for children under 12. Tours are everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., starting at the British Colonial Hilton and ending at Tortuga Rum Cake Company. For more information, visit www.trubahamianfoodtours.com.
Call for works
The Bahamas National Trust presents its Conchservation Campaign Logo Competition. Logos should be simple; easy to read; able to stand along without text and scalable. Designs will be judged on originality, simplicity, memorability and relevance. Entries should also include a brief explanation of the rationale behind the design and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is for submission is 5 p.m. on April 24, 2013.
WomanSpeak Journal is calling for submissions of art and photography for its upcoming seventh volume. The theme for this volume is "Voices of Dissent, Writing and Art to Transform the Culture". Please send questions or submissions to email@example.com with the subject line "WSJ submission". The deadline is Tuesday, April 30.
Family Guardian's annual Calendar Photo Contest is open to all Bahamian photographers, under the theme "A Celebration of Bahamian Pastimes". The deadline for entries is July 12. For more information, visit http://www.familyguardian. com.
The 10th Annual Bahamas International Film Festival invites filmmakers from around the worls to submit their narratives, documentaries, worls cinema, short films, animation and family films. This year's festival takes place December 5-13 on New Providence and Eleuthera. The deadline is July 17. For more information, visit http://bintlfilmfest.com.
The 30th Annual Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Competition and Exhibition invites entries for its Open Category under the theme "The Independents", in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Bahamian independence, which is being celebrated this year. The objectives of the competition are to identify, recognize and encourage Bahamian visual artists. To qualify, participants must be citizens of The Bahamas, aged 18 or older (as of October 1, 2013) and not registered in secondary school. The Open/Senior Category Competition and Exhibition component will be held from Tuesday, October 1 to Friday, November 1. Artists under 30 years are especially encouraged to embrace this opportunity of the theme of "The Independents" as a challenge in terms of material and/or the role and responsibilities of independent thinking in art in The Bahamas, as well as, thinking of the larger political symbolism of independence of the country.
NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Ministry of The Environment of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in conjunction with the Bahamas National Trust and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) announce a one-day conference at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort (West Bay Street, Nassau, Bahamas) on Friday, July 8, 2011.
An international and local group of practitioners, scholars, and legislators will address current environmental strategies and imagine future scenarios for the sustainable development of the Exumas, the chain of Bahamian islands that includes the Exuma Cay Land and Sea Park. The intention for this first exploratory event is to identify key issues and goals for a possible multiyear research initiative that will analyze the Exumas from environmental, social, economic, design, and planning perspectives.
The conference program will feature presentations by The Rt. Hon. Hubert Alexander Ingraham, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, The Bahamas, and The Hon. Earl D. Deveaux, Minister of The Environment. The list of speakers also includes national and international experts on sustainability and planning and a number of Harvard University faculty. Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Harvard University GSD, who will speak at the conference, explains that "Planning for the future of the Exumas presents the challenge of fostering the wellbeing of the region's people while preserving the unique ecology and natural beauty of the islands. We hope that questions raised at this conference will prompt significant research to address this challenge."
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Young real estate superstar Ryan Knowles has been awarded the prestigious Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist designation, catapulting the 24-year-old into the top tier of real estate agents. The international certification places Knowles, an agent with Mario Carey Realty, among fewer than 1% of all licensed agents in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
Prince Harry of Great Britain will visit the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium next month, during his tour of several Caribbean countries.
The prince will visit The Bahamas for two days in March as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebration of Queen Elizabeth II, commemorating the 60th year of her rule.
Prince Harry, the second son of the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, will arrive on March 3 and is expected to open the Queen's Jubilee exhibition in Rawson and Parliament Squares on Bay Street on March 4 at 1:30 p.m. after attending an ecumenical mass at Christ Church Cathedral at 11 a.m.
On March 5, Prince Harry will attend a youth rally and cultural show at the national stadium with over 5,500 invited attendees, according to Jewel Brown of the National Planning Committee.
"We have a spectacular show that is just rearing to go [and] our young people are coming in droves from all throughout the country...so indeed it is going to be a national youth rally," said Brown during a press conference yesterday.
"In fact we are going to give all persons at the stadium a little piece of The Bahamas. We certainly hope we will be able to contain Prince Harry when the Junkanoo starts because that's just how exciting it's going to be."
Brown added the event is a unique opportunity for the country and the Royal Party to view the depth of youth involvement.
Royalty Protection officials remained tight-lipped regarding safety protocols extended to the Royal Party during its visit.
Secretary to The Cabinet Anita Bernard, who is also chairperson of the government's National Events Committee gave a brief overview of Prince Harry's upcoming tour in the Family Islands.
The prince will tour Staniel Cay, Exuma, Governor's Harbour and Windermere Island, Eleuthera. According to Bernard, the prince expressed special interest in visiting Windermere for "sentimental reasons".
Prince Charles and Lady Diana (Prince Harry's deceased mother) chose to spend their honeymoon on the private island in the early 1980s.
"It is anticipated that he will [also] have an opportunity to see a little bit of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park," said Bernard.
"That is one of the historic sites [in The Bahamas] and is one of the oldest marine sea parks in the world. As a matter of fact, Prince Harry's grandfather Prince Phillip is the patron of the Bahamas National Trust that has responsibility for the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park."
The prince will also inspect the Royal Bahamas Defence Force at its Coral Harbour Base during his stay.
While here he will meet with Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and Leader of the Opposition Perry Christie.
The prince will also pay courtesy calls on Speaker of the House of Assembly Alvin Smith, President of the Senate Lynn Holowesko, Cabinet ministers, senators and parliamentarians.
Prince Harry will visit Jamaica and Belize after he leaves The Bahamas.